I took my children out trick or treating, with the girls dressed up as Cleopatra and a pirate queen respectively. It was extremely fun being out at night with the children, under the crescent moon, with the snap of snow in the air. We had actually had an unusual early snow storm last Saturday that knocked out power and generally mucked things up for awhile, but by yesterday everything was enchanted.
After trick or treating we came home and had a small ceremony together. We lit a candle for those we love who have passed and talked about them, things we remembered and missed.
|My cauldron with the candle for the ancestors burning inside; the skull in front is from my ancestor altar and represent all of my ancestors whose names I do not know, but who are still with me, who I also honor|
Tonight is the second night of my Samhain celebration. I will honor an Morrigan and an Dagda who united on Samhain, and who are both deities I am personally close to. I will kindle a sacred fire symbolically relighting the fire of my hearth and of the world* and I will do some more divination and make charms to bless my home in the coming year; Samhain was associated with a solar cross charm similar to the Brighid's cross of Imbolc and with using fire to sain the property (Danaher, 1972; McNeill 1962). Tomorrow will be focused especially on honoring the dead and on blessing the people of the house for the year to come using the ashes of tonight's fire. And then Samhain will be over for another year.
Danaher, K., (1972) . The Year in Ireland. Mercier Press
Estyn Evans, E., (1957) . Irish folk Ways. Routledge and Kegan Paul
Freeman, P., (2002) War, Women, and Druids. University of Texas Press
Kondratiev, A., (1998) . The Apple Branch: a path to Celtic Ritual. Citadel Press.
McNeill, F., (1961) . The Silver Bough, volume 3: Halloween to Yule. Stuart Titles Limited
* If anyone is curious about why I place the ceremony with the ritual fire on the second day and not on the first where it should more logically be - the first night is very much about doing as much as I can with my children and my youngest daughter, at this point, has several issues that make anything involving total darkness a bad idea. I am still working out what exactly should go where, ritually speaking, and next year I hope to have the fire on the first night in a more "traditional" way since fire was such a major part of this holiday. But this year, this is how things worked out. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.